Cape Cod With Dormers

by Molly McKinnon

Cape Cod History

A Cape Cod is a style of house originating in New England in the 17th century. It is traditionally characterized by a low, broad frame building, generally a story and a half high, with a steep, pitched roof with end gables, a large central chimney and very little ornamentation. The Cape Cod originated with the colonists who came from England to New England. They used the English house with a hall and parlor as a model, adapting this design with local materials to best protect against New England's notoriously stormy weather. Over the next several generations emerged a 1- to 1 1⁄2-story house with wooden shutters and clapboard or shingle exterior.

Weather Influnces

The Pilgrims wanted to build a house that was going to keep them safe and warm. Temperatures in January and February could drop to -20 degrees fahrenheit. To fight the chill, the Pilgrims built extensive central chimneys and low ceilinged rooms to conserve heat. Most Cape Cod homes faced the south, which allowed sunlight to enter the windows and provide additional heat.The steep roof characteristic of New England homes also prevented excessive amounts of snow from accumulating on the house.
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